For most basic users of Instagram, the goal is to gain as many followers as possible. For businesses, the goal is always sales. Unfortunately for many businesses we see, they spend countless hours and days pouring into Instagram and the content that fills it, only to find they haven’t gained any new sales and are usually short on followers and engagement.
What we try to encourage with so many of our clients and friends is quality over quantity. Build quality content that can attach to a strong customer journey that leads to a clear sales funnel and watch the sales roll in. If the above sounds like your story, read on to learn how to better approach business with Instagram.
1. Define your Goals
All businesses, big and small, MUST have outlined goals in order for their business to succeed. If you’re jumping in head-first to the Instagram game without business-defined goals, you’re going to fail.
Sans goals, your content is going to skew left and right and somewhere in between.
We know you’re busy. We know your time is precious. But posting randomly is like throwing pasta at the wall in hopes that something will stick. Define your goals and the rest will fall into place.
2. Give Social Proof
First, what even is social proof? Wikipedia defines social proof as “the psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation” In other words, your audience wants to know that you can provide the results you’re promising. It’s your job to help give them what they’re looking for and build trust. Here’s how:
- User-Generated Content: UGC takes what your audience is passionate about and creates on their own and uses it for building an authentic brand image. Some businesses are scared of this tactic because it requires using others’ words, but it’s free and highlights users and their honest opinions. Get people to start talking through unique challenges or invite them to share their stories.
- Testimonials: Similar to UGC, testimonials take honest feedback and highlight it to build trust with others who haven’t become customers just yet. Even if testimonials don’t exist yet, talk to happy customers who are willing to share their thoughts. It takes business a long way in others seeing how you’ve impacted customers.
- Influencers: Be careful here. Influencers shouldn’t just be whoever is popular in general. They need to be specific to your niche. When users see these influencers talk positively about your business, they’re encouraged to trust and buy from you.
3. Build a Trustworthy Community
This one stands out because social media is ALL about community. That was why it was designed in the first place. It allows people from all walks of life to find and follow those they connect with on a real level. If you want to build that community, engage with your followers. Acknowledge them, answer their questions, and encourage them in their endeavors.
Most importantly, be authentic. People can smell fake a mile away.
4. Make it Easy to Convert
Make the buying process easy for your followers. Consumers want to engage and they want to find your information. Don’t make it hard for them to navigate to where they want to go. Your information in your bio (and again, on your website) should tell others who you are, what you do, and how to get in touch (or where they can learn more).
Links can’t be broken. Contacts should be obvious. Your purpose should be clear.
Let people make sales with ease and don’t be the main reason they click away to a competitor.
5. Provide True Value
Truly valuable content will keep people coming back for more. You want posts to be informative, educational, and actionable. In other words, don’t make everything about selling your services or product.
- Give tips and tricks.
- Share your struggles and how you overcome them (or ask for advice).
- What FAQs are most common in your industry?
- Share relevant fun facts.
- Provide free downloads.
6. Review and Pivot
Don’t just post. Review what’s working well (or not working well) and be sure to change if need be. Do metrics reflect the goals you’re trying to reach? This is also key when analyzing how everything is performing. When reviewing, dive into the details. What posts got the most likes? Which got the lowest likes? Which ones generated DM’s? Were there certain times during the day/week/year that others engaged the most?
Remember that numbers tell a story and you need to work off of what those numbers are telling you. Use analytics to take the next steps so you can continue to give people what they need and want to see online.
Converting Instagram followers IS possible. But it requires you to be strategic and consistent. Trying for only one week won’t get you there. Followers need to rely on what you’re posting to build trust before they buy. This takes time so be patient and be intentional. If you’re struggling to convert those followers, let’s have a chat. Onya can help determine a solution-based strategy that attracts potential customers and meets your goals as a business.